Updated: May 13, 2018
Here are some tips to help you get the highest return on your investment when selling your home. It's important to try and put yourself in "buyer's shoes" and look at your house from their perspective. When doing so, follow these tried and true steps and you'll be selling your home in no time at all.
If you do nothing else, this would be the MOST important step to take before selling your home.
Most of us accumulate things over the years and cluttered areas can make your house look smaller and less inviting. Keep tables, countertops, nightstands, coffee tables, and dressers clear of papers, trash, and clutter. Clear off refrigerator magnets and papers. Remove furniture pieces that are not necessary or that are just taking up space and not necessarily adding to the rooms appeal or function. If you happen to have family photos all over your house, consider storing some of them and replacing some of them with art. While it's completely fine to have some family photos in your home, a buyer will find it difficult to visualize the space as their own if there are too many visible in every room.
#2 Thoroughly Clean
Most people want a turn-key property meaning they just want to move in and "live", not remodel or do any work to the house. So make sure your home looks clean so buyers don't feel like it needs a remodel. Have your carpets and windows professionally cleaned, make sure the bathroom floors and grout around the shower and tub look clean.
#3 Make a good first impression
Make sure the entry is welcoming, plant bright flowers in pots on the front porch, mow the lawn and maintain gardens. This is so important because it sets the tone for what the buyer will expect to see when they walk into your home.
Either they will be hopeful that your home is a good fit for them or they might start counting the list of to-do's before they even walk in the house.
Make sure the entry is clutter free, hide shoes and put away jackets and bags. The entry should be welcoming and naturally invite your guests to keep walking through. Paint colorful walls a neutral shade to help your rooms feel clean, spacious and inviting.
Replace bulbs in your light fixtures with bright bulbs and be sure to open drapes and window coverings to allow in natural light.
#4 Fix what's broken
It's a good time to start tackling all those little items you've been "living with" that are in need of repair. Touch up paint on walls and cabinets, refinish or repair any damaged floors, fix leaky faucets, etc... Taking care of these items before they come up during inspections is a prudent thing to do so that buyers feel they are getting a well maintained house and you don't subject yourself to needless renegotiation on price.
Staging your home can be as simple as setting the dining room table, fluffing pillows and adding fresh flowers to the kitchen table. Or it can mean replacing outdated light fixtures or moving out some of your furnishings and replacing them with updated pieces in a layout that will appeal to most buyers.
Easy things you do to stage your house before a showing:
Make sure the house is completely clean and decluttered
Put a vase or two of fresh flowers out before showing
Set the dining room table using matching linens and a beautiful centerpiece
Set out an essential oil diffuser
Empty the garbage before a showing
Freshen the garbage disposal with lemon slices
Make beds and add color with plush pillows
Update living/family room furniture with plush pillows and blankets
Display white towels in bathrooms for a spa like feel (put away non matching ones)
Let in the light - turn the lights on and open all the drapes
It's something that is usually overlooked or not bothered with because of the fear of added effort or expense, but staging your home can be the difference between a full offer and a stagnant listing. If you aren't sure about this, check out homes for sale in your neighborhood. See what the competition is for yourself and when you come across a house that is staged well, you will know it.